On the surface, most hospitals more or less look the same, don’t they? And yet, somehow they just feel different, whether from hospital to hospital or even just ward to ward. Think about that a little bit: even two hospitals with the same sterile walls and chaotic hustle-bustle can feel entirely distinct from each other, just based on the vibes you get from the staff attending to your care. Are the nurses and doctors walking around tensely, taking down every measurement just right but leaving you feeling cold, in the dark, or not quite cared for? Or are they doing that same accurate medical work, but with a sense of human connection and genuine joyfulness that not only makes you feel like you’re in safe hands, but brightens your spirits and pushes you to keep moving forward towards recovery? That’s the difference that organizational culture can bring to even the most otherwise-competent healthcare facility.
All corporations, for-profit or not for profit, must have a margin. The cost of healthcare has been scrutinized for many years and yet it continues to rise. Hospitals are becoming more financially challenged and leadership has to determine the strategy to sustain the financial health of their institutions. There are two opposing strategies to accomplish both improved culture and margin. Does the leadership focus on the margin so the team can pay higher wages and pay for the “nice things to do for the staff” to then improve the corporate culture? Or do they focus on the organization's culture to improve the margin?
As a former CEO of hospitals across the midwest for 35 years, our CEO Jonathan Goble brings a great perspective to FISH! in healthcare during this difficult time. I believe today, with the onslaught of COVID 19 ravaging our resources, our people and our attitudes, we (hospitals) are particularly at risk without a specific strategy to address the impact this pandemic has on our people and culture. As healthcare workers we are brave and will walk into the face of danger. We do it each and every day, even without COVID 19 present in our midst. We are hard workers who are willing to work extremely long hours when needed. We are called in and called off and still come back to serve our patients the next day. We have strange senses of humor because of the work that we face. It helps to be a bit irreverent when the seriousness of our work could easily drain our spirit. We are strong but the challenges of the healthcare world today threatens our infrastructure and our people. So, how could FISH! help?